RPA – A Game Changer For Businesses

Robotic Process Automation is a process whereby a “software bot” uses rule based computer automation to complete highly repetitive routine tasks that would normally be performed by humans. 

Kicking off a new month with a brand new direction – Robots! – RPA to be exact.

Judgement day has arrived and we now live in a world where robots can do our work for us. John Connor doesn’t need to make his way back just yet though we’re talking about software robots 🙂

What is Robotic Process Automation?

Robotic Process Automation is a process whereby a “software bot” uses rule based computer automation to complete highly repetitive routine tasks that would normally be performed by humans. 

Robotic Process Automation software can work with any system or application in the same way we as humans would work. 

To be put simply – RPA is software that imitates the work that people do

RPA has become more and more popular in recent times with fortune 500 companies such as Deutsche Bank, Coca Cola and American Express Global Business Travel all utilising this emerging technology in various ways to automate their companies. American Express Global Business Travel utilised RPA to automate the process of cancelling an airline ticket and issuing refunds, a task previously performed by employees.

When did Robotic Process Automation (RPA) begin?

Although computers and technology have been with us since the modern era, it is hard to say exactly when RPA was created as it is a combination of different technologies put together to work as one. 

Alastair Bathgate is one of the co-founders of Blue Prism which is a UK multinational software company which was founded in 2001 and who pioneered Robotic Process Automation. 

RPA is a growing industry and is expected to reach $3.11 billion by 2025

What are the benefits of Robotic Process Automation (RPA)?

  • Greater Productivity 

Mundane tasks which are normally completed by workers tend to be done at a slower rate. By introducing RPA to businesses, these menial tasks can be done at an increased rate, leaving the workforce free to carry out higher valued activities and tasks. According to Automation Anywhere (which is a market leader in RPA) RPA bots can complete tasks up to 70% faster than humans.

  • Improved Compliance

In a post covid world of business, it is crucial to ensure compliance and standards are adhered to to avoid financial penalties, particularly in industries which have already suffered immensely. RPA bots when programmed correctly have the ability to be 100% accurate and therefore the risk of incorrect data entry is minimised which can be saviour during auditing season. Organisations can also benefit from using RPA to keep confidential data and information private from employees and thus reducing the risk of fraudulent activities. 

  • Reduces Human Error

Human error can often occur during repetitive tasks as the worker becomes disengaged and complacent. Human error can be reduced significantly as RPA is programmed to work by a set of “rules”. 

  • Cost Effective

By building a digital workforce and reducing the amount of physical employees, there is less need for office space and therefore RPA becomes a cost effective tool. The costs of human error are reduced along with the timeframe for everyday tasks to be completed.

  • Enhances Customer Experience

RPA can increase revenue and overall customer satisfaction due to smoother and faster experiences, RPA bots can perform simple tasks such as conducting transactions, sending generic emails, creating invoices and filing documents and data entry.

  • Increased Employee Engagement

By removing the dull, mundane tasks from an employee and shortening the timeframes and streamlining workflows for in house processes, RPA can lead to an increased morale and a happier more productive workforce which in turn can decrease the rate of staff turnover.

Is RPA the same as Artificial Intelligence?

Whilst RPA and AI can work hand in hand together, the key difference between Robotic Process Automation and Artificial Intelligence is that with AI the key word is “intelligence”. 

The computer systems have the ability to apply reasoning and self correction and develop their own logic whereas RPA simply has the ability to learn rule based learning and is NOT intelligent.

An example of AI would be – Siri or Alexa which are voice activated personal assistants in your home and on your device. They help you find information, add events to your calendar and even decipher speech. Siri in particular has the ability to increase her knowledge through machine learning to predict our questions before we have asked them.

Which industries are currently using RPA?

  • Retail and ecommerce – this industry involves a lot of orders and shipping. RPA can be used to assist customers with changing statuses of their orders and inventories.
  • Insurance and claims processing – claims processing involves large amounts of documentation and cross checking. RPA can assist with this and ensure the process runs smoothly and allows for increased customer engagement between client and case officers.
  • Council and local authorities – Debt recovery, updating standards and working through complaints processes.. 
  • HR – this industry involves a lot of resume cross checking and manual onboarding processes which can be reduced by utilising RPA
  • Bankinga large consumer and commercial bank redesigned its claims process and deployed nearly 100 software robots, which were able to run 13 processes, handling approximately 1.5 million requests per year. As a result, the bank was able to add capacity equivalent to around 230 full-time employees at approximately 30 percent of the cost of recruiting more staff. Further this, the bank recorded a 27 percent increase in tasks performed “right first time”
  • Travel – as mentioned earlier, travel companies are able to automate processes such as refunds, cancellations and updated schedules via RPA 

How do I know whether RPA is right for my business?

If your business and team spend vast amounts of time performing tasks using various softwares and applications which can be considered mundane and menial. Robotic Process Automation could be beneficial for your organisation. If your workforce has significantly reduced as a result of COVID 19, you may look to streamline and opt for a more digitally focused business model. 

In Conclusion

In our opinion, RPA is not just a way of reducing the workforce as much as possible, but an exciting technology that can not only complement the skills of human employees, but make their job roles more purposeful and satisfying by working on higher valued intricate projects.

In unprecedented business conditions where some businesses have lost a large portion of their workforce. RPA can be used to support and assist remote and office based workers by reducing back office tasks and enabling them to concentrate on rebuilding, re-engaging with customers and driving business forward.

Reach out to us to find out more about RPA and how it can possibly benefit your business.

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